Lafayette’s economy continues to redefine robust, ringing in a whopping $527 million in retail sales in June, the latest month for which figures are available. That’s 2.5 percent higher than June of last year and 6.5 percent above May of this year. Year-to-date retail sales are up to $2.96 billion, a 3.92 percent increase over the first six months of 2012. In fact, June was the third highest single month on record for Lafayette Parish. Hotel/motel receipts are also out-pacing 2012. It’s little wonder, although much appreciated, that Area Development magazine, which businesses use for scouting locations to open their doors, gave Lafayette a trifecta, naming it Best Midsize City, Best City in the South and Best Overall City among nearly 400 metro areas ranked.
Kerry Bertrand will almost certainly be convicted for the murder of his stepdaughter, 20-year-old Skylar Credeur, who was found drowned in her bathtub in Rayne — Bertrand, according to police, was found hiding in the attic — a week after she filed a protective order against him. Bertrand will get his day in court. But regardless of the outcome, the case underscores a level of dysfunction in the 15th Judicial District system that should give everyone pause. Bertrand had been released from the Acadia Parish Jail where he was being held on a molestation charge on Aug. 12. He had been jailed since May 31 on the charge, but was released because a bill of information was never filed in the case, a procedure required to keep a suspect behind bars. District Attorney Mike Harson blames state police, telling local media he didn’t receive a report from state police until 75 days after Bertrand’s arrest. State police argue the report wasn’t necessary to file the bill of information. Someone dropped the ball big time. And if Bertrand is ultimately convicted of a crime that could have been prevented had the legal system done its job and kept him in jail, Skylar Credeur’s death is at once tragic, senseless and an outrage.
Headlines in next year’s Senate race pitting incumbent Democrat Mary Landrieu against, presumably, U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, tell the tale: “Cassidy won’t support shutdown over Obamacare” (Aug. 22 at theind.com via The Associated Press) and “Cassidy supports government shutdown threat over Obamacare flap” (Aug. 25 in The Advocate). What happened in that three-day span? For starters, the arch conservative Heritage Foundation dropped Cassidy onto a target list for failing to join the far right wing of the GOP that wants to shut the federal government down if any spending resolutions include funding for the Affordable Care Act. He joined moderate Louisiana congressional Republican Reps. Charles Boustany and the soon-to-be-retired Rodney Alexander on said target list. According to The Advocate, Cassidy had no comment on his change of heart, although he released a statement reminding us that he has voted 40 times to repeal Obamacare because ... something Albert Einstein said about insanity.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
Pat Bowlen steps down; typhoon caused Taiwan plane crash; Arizona execution botched and more national and international news for Thursday, July 24, 2014.
Thousands of people who bought health insurance through the marketplace created by the federal health care overhaul face price hikes next year that could top 10 percent.
Three bedroom traditional Lafayette home or three bedroom Breaux Bridge home
Style market slated for old Artesia
The city prosecutor has released the case file for Lafayette Parish School Board member Tehmi Chassion’s simple battery complaint against Superintendent Pat Cooper, and the seven witness statements given to police illustrate two very different scenarios.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Louisiana fell one spot in an annual national ranking of child well-being that looks at poverty, education and health access.
A federal judge has decided he doesn't need to hear more arguments in the case of a gay couple who want a Louisiana marriage license.
Saints again bring playoff aspirations into 2014 campaign.
New details in the case against the man arrested for last week’s bomb threat and bank robbery has surfaced, including a MidSouth Bank surveillance video showing the alleged suspect attempt an early-morning bank robbery.
Citing conflicting witness accounts, the city prosecutor will not pursue Tehmi Chassion’s allegation of simple battery against Superintendent Pat Cooper.
Smoked meat, fresh sides and the best boudin around
Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers opens on Johnston.
Cirque du Soleil effortlessly combines circus art with beloved Michael Jackson hits.
Kelly Guidry Open House
Parents and teachers who support the Common Core education standards sued Gov. Bobby Jindal Tuesday over his actions against the multi-state standards, accusing him of illegally meddling in education policy.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
An arrest was announced this morning in connection with last week’s bomb scare at UL Lafayette.
Attorneys, judges and others interviewed by LaPolitics expect 15 to 20 district judge races this year.
"I feel like I'm under siege," an attorney said recently over drinks at Galatoire's Bistro in Baton Rouge. "We all do. Every time I turn around somebody wants a check. District attorney races. The judges. They're killing us."
As a requirement for running for Congress in the 6th District, former Gov. Edwin Edwards has filed his financial disclosure statement with the U.S. House showing his income in 2013 totaling $242,787.
Unlike those swindled by Bernie Madoff, the victims of Texas businessman Robert Allen Stanford’s Ponzi scheme won’t be getting any relief from the Securities Investor Protection Corp.’s emergency fund after a recent appellate court ruling.
Acadiana's Top 50 Private Companies
It would be an understatement to say Schumacher Group had a challenging year in 2013.
Hampton Toyota has been serving Acadiana as the premier Toyota dealership for more than 10 years. And now, the glossy Johnston Street dealership is looking forward to a makeover.
Even when Floyd Degueyter is on “vacation” he’s hard at work.
As the second largest metal heat treating company in the country, Analytic Stress Relieving Inc. has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception in 1979.
When the Prohibition era came to an end in 1933, Joseph R. Streva saw an opportunity to make a little extra money to supplement his day job.
When a hurricane hits, Brent Mouton doesn’t run. The convenience store chain owner is proof that the challenges of mother nature can almost break a business, but Mouton learned to grow out of temporary closure from near devastation in 2002 and of lost potential revenue.